8 truths of Leaky gut syndrome ๐Ÿ™Œ

Hello everyone !ย Have a wonderful and safe day ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป

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Time and again, it has been proved by extensive Medical researches that most of the chronic illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, type 1diabetes, irritable bowel disorders, migraine are all associated with gastrointestinal disorders. A patient who suffers from chronic symptoms’, the history should be thoroughly investigated for an underlying food or lifestyle habits that may be co-related.
Our body is not a single entity, nor each of its organs works independently of each other. Every structure, including the skin, tissues, mucosal lining, organ, system including a huge colony of microbiota are all interconnected and work together as a biological system. Not only this, the immune system, biochemical processes, endocrine and the autonomic nervous system, are all very much interdependent. Therefore, while considering any chronic disorder, the entire system has to be taken into account, including food habits and lifestyle in the process of management of such illnesses.

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1. The food, we eat reaches the intestines where they are bind to enzymes where filtration and absorption take place. Then, the nutrition of the food is absorbed in the bloodstream through the intestinal barrier. Without digestion, the food cannot escape directly through the intestinal/gut wall. The intestinal lining is typically intact and tight. It doesn’t let food, bacteria or toxins to escape directly to the bloodstream. Nutrients of food also absorbed through small villi on the intestinal wall. Usually, there are tiny holes of 1-7 microns in the gut lining through which the nutrition permeates into the bloodstream. When there is Leaky gut, the holes become bigger about 200-300 microns, and the intestinal villi are damaged too because of which the intestinal integrity is lost. That is the reason leaky gut is also called intestinal permeability. There is directly permeability on the gut lining through which the food material, bacteria, toxins escape into the bloodstream. The immune system comes into play and starts reacting. There is extensive inflammation of the intestinal lining and its structures. There is swelling and slowly scarring of the intestinal walls.

2. Evidence has proved that genetic predisposition is one of the leading causes of leaky gut. But, emerging researches have shown the not only DNA is to be blamed alone. Lifestyle conditions like high gluten diet, fat, sugar-rich diet, smoking, alcohol, stress, pain killers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and food intolerance are some of the common conditions predisposing leaky gut. Therefore, leaky gut commonly found in chronic conditions like Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients. Leaky gut not only creates symptoms in bowel disorders but also linked to most conditions of autoimmune origin. It may be associated with autoimmune diseases like Lupus, Type 1diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, allergies and mental illness. Autoimmune disorders are difficult to diagnose and treat. They can be managed and controlled but has no permanent cure.

3. Trigger factors of leaky gut are like a gluten-rich diet, dairy-rich, soy food or drugs like antibiotics or over the counter pain killers like aspirin, acetaminophen which may disturb the intestinal lining and cause leaky gut. Such triggers lead the immune system to be activated, causing an immune response in the body to produce antibodies against our own body’s intestinal tissue lining, causing inflammation. This inflammation can increase the intestinal permeability that is the escape of food and toxins directly into the bloodstream leading to symptoms like pain, diarrhoea, joint pain, fatigue, headache and depression. As Leaky gut is associated with a number of symptoms, so, it is called Leaky Gut syndrome.ย 

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4. Common symptoms are
Diarrhoea, Constipation
Pain abdomen, bloating
Skin rashes like acne, eczema, rosacea
Brain fog, memory loss
Depression
Chronic Fatigue
Joint pain.

5. Though strong evidence shows that many chronic conditions are associated with an underlying cause of leaky gut. Leaky gut is still not considered an official medical diagnosis, nor it has a standard protocol of treatment. A proper detailed history of the patient can detect the leaky gut condition. Therefore the management also differs from individual to individual depending on the full range of trigger factors.

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6. Diet and lifestyle changes do help a great deal in such conditions. Drugs that suppress the immune response and also to control the inflammation are required in some cases. The most important message is that we know our body better than anybody else. Even if we go to the best of the specialist physician, we should do what works best for us. Never stop self investigating and self-analysing yourself about why and what may trigger or lead to such symptoms. Be your observer, and make changes accordingly, which may be very helpful.

7. Hold on to basics. As, from my own experience, the best thing is leading a simple life; more fundamental is food and lifestyle, less is the list of complications or symptoms of chronic illnesses. Stick to the essential food habits that you may have inherited from your ancestral lineage because that’s how your genetic makeup and your body is comfortable. Follow work, exercise and sleep balance. Always maintain calmness of mind by using techniques of meditation and mindfulness because a healthy mind has a high impact on the physical body.

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Other measures that can be beneficial are:
To limit the amount of carbohydrate from the diet.
To eat more of fermented food (Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, yoghurt)
Limiting dairy products and using more probiotics in the diet.
Eating more of soluble fibres in the diet.
Limiting the use of antibiotics and pain killers and using them only when necessary.

8. Vitamin deficiency of D, A, C, Zinc are related to increased intestinal permeability. So, dietary sources and vitamin supplements can be helpful to some extent. Vitamin D also suppresses inflammation in the gut. Certain supplements like Curcumin, L glutamine, collagen peptides, Zinc and probiotics are also helpful in some instances.

Thanks for reading.

Much love and blessings for all ๐Ÿ’

 

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Post: How about a smart healthy brain ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜, anytime, any age? : 5 ways to facilitate the process.

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful weekend๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป

Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, two terms commonly used when it comes to brain health. We, just don’t need to dive so much into Neuroscience to learn what they mean and how we can help ourselves to keep our brain healthy. Brain health is important because as long as our brain is healthy, we keep learning new things and our memory is intact. As ageing progresses, we can prevent ourselves from certain chronic conditions like dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease by maintaining good brain health.

Neuroplasticity, meaning that our brain is continuously changing through our entire lifetime depending upon our experiences, the environment, habits, behaviour. Neural pathways keep rewiring and dewiring depending upon what is necessary and what is no longer useful. Therefore, being in a positive environment, thinking and feeling positive is all very important.

Neurogenesis meaning formation of new neurons, that is our ability to learn new things and retain in our memory. Previously, it was believed that neurogenesis stopped once we reach our adulthood, that is around the age of 20. Now, researches have shown, that neurogenesis occurs throughout our lifetime. So, we can learn until the day we die. In our brain, the neurons are formed from the neural stem cells and progenitor cells which are in the Hippocampus mainly and also in other regions of the brain. Though every day, new neurons are formed, before, they could get matured, many of them get pruned. A special protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) has been identified which is responsible for promoting the maturation, survival and maintenance of the neurons.

So, how do we facilitate this process of neurogenesis and maintain the level of BDNF? 5 simple ways

1. Exercise: Any exercise which can increase the heart rate mainly aerobic exercise, running, brisk walking.


2.Food: Rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fishes (salmon, tuna, sardines), avocados, chia, hemp seeds and nuts. Other sources which help are turmeric, blueberries, goji berries, lotus roots, algae, green tea, coffee. However, too much caffeine is detrimental to neurogenesis.

3.Emotions: Experiencing positive emotions like joy, excitement, love and feeling good, stimulate Neurogenesis. Such emotional experience can appear by being creative, learning a new skill, going out in Nature, proper sleep, listening to Nature sounds, good music and sex. A positive relationship with partners, peers, relatives is helpful. Being in chronic stress, anger, anxiety are detrimental to neurogenesis.

4.Mind stimulation: Cognitive abilities like reading, learning, memorizing, discussing new ideas, taking up music lessons, problem-solving, all stimulate neurogenesis. Cognitive reserve (resilience against brain damage) can be built up by engaging mind stimulating activities or intellectual work.

5.Meditation: Prayers and meditation can stimulate neurogenesis. Practising mindfulness, compassion, being in silence, stillness all facilitate neurogenesis.

Some lifestyle factors which can decrease neurogenesis are a high intake of carbohydrate, sugar, fried foods, inflammatory foods, chronic caffeine intake, smoking, alcohol, obesity, chronic stress, lack of sleep, negative emotions like sadness, depression, lack of engagement, boring life. Direct trauma to the head can be very detrimental to neurogenesis. Nowadays, even environmental pollution is quite hazardous to brain health.

If you are intending to learn more about lifestyle changes that you can do to improve your brain health, I recommend the book: Neurogenesis diet and lifestyle by Dr Brant Cortright

Thanks for reading. Take care.

Blessings and Much love to all ๐Ÿ’

Post: Health trends forever.

Like fashion, health trends keep changing with every passing year. There are a craze for particular diets (like keto, paleo, vegan ) and particular fitness techniques (Zumba, Equinox, pilates) which reaches a peak and slowly die down. In spite of each year coming up with a new concept of diet or fitness method, interestingly people are more leaning towards basics.


The concept of a simple basic diet comprising of fresh local produce and ample amount of physical activity which was never a part of the trend nor sounds fancy is timeless and considered the healthiest. This remains the basic key to healthier life irrespective of new health trends coming and going.

Certain health concepts which were never a part of the trends are here to stay forever. 

Ayurveda: An ancient Indian form of healing about 5000 years old, has the concept of holistic healing when there is collective healing of mind, body and soul. Hence, the ayurvedic herbs and spices have become so popular across the world for their tremendous health benefits and immune-boosting properties. Off late, it has been very popular in the Western world.

The other day, I went into an organic store to get my organic green tea. I was quite surprised to see all ayurvedic herbs powder like Ashwagandha, neem, Brahmi, cumin, moringa, amla, turmeric powder and even more, some of which I am not even aware. This wasn’t an Indian store. This was quite unusual for me, as the city in Europe where I live, there aren’t too many Indians.
Again turmeric is one spice, which has become so popular now, worldwide, for its magnificent health benefits and is no longer limited as a cooking ingredient in Indian cooking. It has been a common ingredient in smoothies, milkshakes and even ice creams.

Stanford professor Michel Serres hikes the Dish on a regular basis.

Back to basics: Though gymming and workouts have been very popular, people are leaning more towards the simple physical activity of walking, running, swimming, cycling. The importance of plant-based fibre diet is a timeless concept which not only helps to maintain lean body weight but also helps to prevent lifestyle diseases.


The importance of Mother nature is the best healer has gained great momentum in recent years. Nature, the hills, trees, rivers, the very sounds of birds chirping are very soothing and rejuvenating not only for the wellbeing of physical health but also heals the mind from the day to day stress and routine anxieties.

Japanese Healthy Lifestyle: Japanese concept of living have been quite popular too because it is known to have some of its longest living citizens. They live with a simple concept of happiness, living with small joys of life which result in fulfilling life. Their unique method of cooking with the all-natural ingredient with very less oil and minimum cooking restoring the flavour and nutrients. People old and young lead a very active physical life.

Some concepts which are also seen to have been quite popular and are pretty much in are :

Gut health: People have understood the importance of maintaining a healthy gut. About 70% of our body’s immunity depends on gut health. So, the food containing pre and probiotic bacteria like yoghurt, saurerkraut, khimchi and kefir have become very popular. You can find these items in every other food outlet. Buttermilk has been a popular drink. Other forms of milk which are here to stay for their soothing health benefits are oats milk, almond milk and rice milk. Coconut and coconut milk has been very much in.

Other methods of maintaining gut health are tongue scraping and oil pulling. This was an Ayurvedic morning ritual but now has become a mainstream recommendation for its tremendous benefits. During night time, while the body’s digestion progresses, the undigested toxins and bacteria are deposited in the tongue to dispose of as wastes. So, it is important to clean the tongue properly otherwise, the toxins might get reabsorbed.

Mind healing: Mental wellbeing is as important as physical wellbeing for holistic health. Our thoughts, emotions and feeling do count for a whole well-being state. Routine workouts and healthy eating are not enough for overall wellbeing, it is very important to have a healthy mind as well. So mindful practises, yoga and meditation are some important practices which are here to stay forever.

Cortisol conscious workouts: This is a conscious step which has been given much importance off late as routine heavy workout can result in peaked level of cortisol. Since most of the workout techniques involve a high level of stress and exertion, the cortisol ( stress hormone) level is pumped up at a continuous elevated level. This is important to be regulated as high levels are very harmful to the body. So, the choice of workout, clubbed with simple routine activities and how far you can push yourself needs to be regulated to keep the body cortisol in balance. (details in one of my previous post https://healthhappinesshealing.org/2019/08/07/post-cortisol-vigilant-workout-3-important-reasons/)